Hunter Pence Trade Review


Last night the fan favorite, Hunter Pence, was traded to Philadelphia for four prospects. I know the majority of Astros’ fans, myself included, did not want to see Pence go but it makes sense for them to trade him now. His value has never been higher and according to Buster Olney he is expected to make $25 million over the next two years.

Now that the trade has been made official, fans turn their attention to if we got good value for Pence. The Astros will receive pitchers Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid, outfielder/first baseman Jonathan Singleton and player to be named later. After the jump I break down the prospects.

Jarred Cosart- Phillies Nation has Cosart rated as the second best prospect in the Phillies farm system and put together an extensive scouting report here. From the sounds of it, Cosart has a great deal of potential however there are a few things that concern me. His numbers have dropped a bit from last season to this season, where he is pitching in the Class A+ level. He also has not made it threw a full season without injury and even visited Dr. James Andrew in 2010 with an elbow injury but it did not require surgery.

Even with the red flags, there is a lot of to like about this pitcher. He has developed a strong fastball ranging between 96-98 mph as well as a killer curveball, which he considers his out pitch. He has also been working on a change up to compliment the other two pitches.

The reason I am excited most about Cosart after reading the scouting report is that they rave about his work ethic. He worked very hard in his most recent rehab stint and when he was healthy last year he was working on “developing his intelligence on the mound. He worked closely with Lakewood pitching coach Steve Schrenk, on his own off days, to learn hitters’ tendencies and become more of an analyst on the mound.”

Jonathan Singleton- Phillies Nation had him ranked as the best prospect in the Phillies’ farm system and his scouting report has can be read here. At only 19 years of age Singleton has shown a great deal of potential in a short period of time. He was playing with Cosart at the Class A+ level this season and like Cosart his numbers have dropped a bit from last year to this year. He entered the minors as a first baseman but was moved to left field before this season.

The scouting report talks about his maturity for his age and how he has a very good approach at the plate. This report was put together back in February and have to give the author credit for this line:

With the type of potential that Singleton possesses, it seems to be quite likely that he’ll play in the Majors some day. However, I would be somewhat surprised if “The Boss” makes it happen in red pinstripes.

Josh Zeid- Phuture Phillies put together a solid scouting report that can be found here. He has spent this season at the Double A level for the Phillies, even though he is a bit older than most at that level. The report said that a move to the bullpen has worked well for Zeid and brings a fastball in the 93-94 range and a change up and  breaking ball that is slightly below average.

However, I would not get discouraged as Ken Rosenthal tweeted this last night:

Two scouts say 3rd player in Pence trade, RHP Josh Zeid, ready for bigs now in ‘pen. “I’d kill to get Zeid,” one says.

I am not exactly sure what type of player the AStros may be getting here although I am more inclined to give Ken’s tweet a little more weight. One thing is for certain, the Astros need bullpen help and hopefully Zeid can help them out.

Who wins?

This is the first question most fans ask, who won the trade? Unfortunately that is not easy to answer on this trade. Every prospect the Astros got have a concern or two but seem to have unlimited potential. I think the Astros lost in the fact that they did not get a prospect who was closer to being major league ready and wished that they included Dominic Brown in the trade in some way.

This was a high risk, high reward trade because Pence already proved he could produce at the top level and the Astros got back prospects who could provide more value in a year or two but only if they reach that full potential. This is a trade that will need to be revisited in two years to see who actually won.

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Tags: Houston Astros Hunter Pence MLB Trades Philadelphia Phillies